Increase your intelligence

“One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.” —Albert Einstein

Here is what I found out this summer:

Fluid intelligence is trainable (your capacity to learn new information). The more you train at it the better you get and anyone can do it. This is from a study that are discussed in the article by Andrea Kuszewski. This is not your fixed intelligence, the one called crystallized intelligence.

There are 5 primary ways in witch you can train your brain:

1. Seek Novelty
2. Challenge Yourself
3. Think Creatively
4. Do Things The Hard Way
5. Network

IncreaseIntelligence

1. Seek Novelty

It is no coincidence that geniuses like Einstein were skilled in multiple areas, or polymaths, as we like to refer to them. Geniuses are constantly seeking out novel activities, learning a new domain. It’s their personality.

When you seek new activities to engage in and learn new things you trigger dopamine in your brain, this gets you motivated and stimulates neurogenesis (the creation of new neurons) and prepares your brain for learning.

In the Boardgaming hobby we are constanly slaves to “The Cult of the New”. I like getting a new boardgame every month to try out and to see if this is a game I want to Master. Now I know why I do this :)

2. Challenge Yourself

The brain always tries to make every cognitive activity as efficient as possible and consume less energy. It likes getting lazy. Your job is override this by not being contempt by a lazy task.

In order to keep your brain making new connections and keeping them active, you need to keep moving on to another challenging activity as soon as you reach the point of mastery in the one you are engaging in. You want to be in a constant state of slight discomfort, struggling to barely achieve whatever it is you are trying to do.

If you have the time never pass down a challenge or create your own where none is.

3. Think Creatively

“Contrary to popular belief, creative thinking does not equal “thinking with the right side of your brain”. It involves recruitment from both halves of your brain, not just the right. Creative cognition involves divergent thinking (a wide range of topics/subjects), making remote associations between ideas, switching back and forth between conventional and unconventional thinking (cognitive flexibility), and generating original, novel ideas that are also appropriate to the activity you are doing. In order to do this well, you need both right and left hemispheres working in conjunction with each other.”

This is the cognitive process it self.

4. Do Things the Hard Way

Just as your body need constant physical exercise to stay in trim so does your brain. It is easy to rely on modern technology the help take the burden of your brain. But this isn’t doing your brain any favors. So when ever possible take the stairs, the brain-stairs :)

5. Network

Very large parts of your brain and the subconscious are devoted to social cognitive tasks.

“By networking with other people—either through social media such as Facebook or Twitter, or in face-to-face interactions—you are exposing yourself to the kinds of situations that are going to make objectives 1-4 much easier to achieve. By exposing yourself to new people, ideas, and environments, you are opening yourself up to new opportunities for cognitive growth. Being in the presence of other people who may be outside of your immediate field gives you opportunities to see problems from a new perspective, or offer insight in ways that you had never thought of before. Learning is all about exposing yourself to new things and taking in that information in ways that are meaningful and unique—networking with other people is a great way to make that happen. I’m not even going to get into the social benefits and emotional well-being that is derived from networking as a factor here, but that is just an added perk.”

Collective intelligence FTW! And all this fits nicely into putting more PERMA into your life.

/Michael Sillion
Follow me at Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/LordSillion

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4 thoughts on “Increase your intelligence

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